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Think Fast, Mr. Moto (1937)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Crime, Drama | 27 July 1937 (USA)
Trailer
1:58 | Trailer
On a freighter going from San Francisco to Shanghai Mr. Moto solves mysteries caused by a gang of smugglers.

Director:

Norman Foster

Writers:

Howard Ellis Smith (screen play), Norman Foster (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Disguised as an Austrian archaeologist, Moto helps unearth the priceless crown of the legendary Queen of Sheba and sans disguise defends it from a variety of thugs and criminals.

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Moto thwarts a ruthless band of international agents who try to foment an international incident by mining the entrance to the Suez Canal and blaming the British.

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The U.S. government asks Mr. Moto to go to Puerto Rico to investigate diamond smuggling after an earlier investigator is murdered.

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While Charlie is distracted with the birth of his first grandchild, son Jimmy impersonates his father in order to investigate a murder aboard a freighter in the harbor.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Peter Lorre ... Mr. Moto
Virginia Field ... Gloria Danton
Thomas Beck ... Bob Hitchings
Sig Ruman ... Nicolas Marloff (as Sig Rumann)
Murray Kinnell ... Joseph Wilkie
John Rogers John Rogers ... Carson
Lotus Long ... Lela Liu
George Cooper ... Muggs Blake
J. Carrol Naish ... Adram
Frederick Vogeding Frederick Vogeding ... Curio Dealer (as Fredrik Vogeding)
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Storyline

Mr Moto encounters mysterious goings-on on a ship bound for Shanghai. He recognises his steward as the murderer of a man in San Francisco, and catches him trying to steal an important letter from the stateroom of another passenger, Robert Hitchings. Hitchings, son of the owner of the shipping line, falls in love with Gloria, who refuses to tell him anything about her life and disappears when they arrive in Shanghai. In Shanghai, Mr Moto uncovers the secret which links the murder in San Francisco, the mysterious letter, and Gloria. Written by Daniel Frankham <danielf@my-Deja.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet.... MR. MOTO the foxiest detective of them all!


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 July 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Misterioso Mr. Moto See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lorre was not happy when Fox assigned him to the Moto films, but as he had just had been released from a rehab facility for his addiction to morphine, he was in no position to argue and accepted the role. See more »

Goofs

When Mr. Moto photographs Gloria in Honolulu, she is looking directly into the camera, but when he shows the photograph to the police chief in Shanghai she is looking away from the camera at Bob who is obscuring half the photograph even though he was standing beside Mr. Moto, not in front him, and thus should not be in the photograph at all. See more »

Quotes

Bob Hitchings: Stanford, '34.
Kentaro Moto: Stanford, '21; honorary member.
Bob Hitchings: What do you know about that! Moto, '21, let's see... oh, I remember reading about you. You broke a pole-vault record, didn't you?
Kentaro Moto: Now I would only break the pole.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Mr. Moto Takes a Chance (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

The Shy Violet
Music by Harry Akst
Lyrics by Sidney Clare
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A first impression that deserved to last
14 September 2000 | by Anne_SharpSee all my reviews

The shame of the Japanese-American concentration camps has cast a shadow over the Mr. Moto series, giving it a sorry reputation as an artifact of Hollywood racism. The truth is that as far as European-in-yellowface portrayals of Asians went, Peter Lorre's Moto was far less racist and considerably more sympathetic than the clownish, epigram-spouting Charlie Chan. In fact, it's easy to forget Moto's Japaneseness altogether and just view him as yet another wondrous manifestation of the white-linen-suited, Austrian-accented Lorreness so prevalent between the wars in films like "Strange Cargo," "Island of Doomed Men," und so wieter. Audiences certainly took to the little fellow in this first entry in the series, which introduces Moto in all his enigmatic glory--the bemused, politely ironical man of action with his love of kittycats, preference for cow's milk over whiskey, and disdainful conviction that beautiful women only confuse a man. Though Lorre reportedly had no idea what the whole thing was supposed to mean and spent his time offstage disconsolately listening to his archenemy Hitler on the radio, the eight Moto films established him as one of Hollywood's most beloved personalities and gave millions of small men who wore glasses the hope that they, too, could be strong and adorable.


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